Dr Groundlove - or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Central Limit Theorem

Dr Groundlove - or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Central Limit Theorem

Date: Monday 01 March 2021, 4.00PM
Section Group Meeting

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In September 2020, CL:AIRE (the industry body for the UK land contamination & remediation sector) published new professional guidance for “Comparing Soil Contamination Data with a Critical Concentration“.  The 46-page document advises industry professionals how to use statistics when assessing land contamination and deciding whether it is safe for development.  RSS fellow and member of the Quality Improvement Section (QIS) Nigel Marriott was the lead author of the guidance and the writing of it was bookended by the 2016 ASA P-value statement and the 2019 American Statistician editorial “Moving to a world beyond P<0.05”.  It may not have been their intention but the UK land contamination sector has become one of the first sectors to move to a world beyond p<0.05 and QIS are delighted to host this session to give statisticians and land contamination specialists worldwide a chance to see if they have succeeded.
The session will be hosted by Shirley Coleman, chair of the RSS Quality Improvement Section, and there will be a Q&A session after these 3 speakers:-

Peter Witherington (RSK Environmental) – Peter has 40 years’ experience of the land contamination sector and will explain how and why the industry needs to use statistics, the issues with the previous statistics guidance (which Peter helped write) and why CL:AIRE decided new guidance was needed.

Nigel Marriott (Marriott Statistical Consulting) – Nigel will talk about how he came to decide upon the statistical content of the new guidance.  Nigel saw himself as an ambassador for the 2016 ASA statement whilst writing the guidance and he will describe the work he did to satisfy himself that he had truly understood the limitations of the Central Limit Theorem and that his recommendations were statistically robust.

Ron Wasserstein (ASA Executive Director) – Ron was the lead author of both the 2016 ASA statement and the 2019 editorial and is therefore uniquely placed to critique the new guidance against these. 

The new guidance can be downloaded from the CL:AIRE website.
Nigel Marriott for the RSS Quality Improvement Section